Capping landlords

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The coalition government’s newly introduced benefit capping (limited to £26,000 to any household, your report, 16 July) raises interesting questions considering housing benefit accounts for much of the benefits bill.

How did we end up in this position of private rented accommodation, in reality businesses, being funded by the government?

Well, we need to go back to 1980 and the “right to buy” legislation passed by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, allowing the sale of council houses, effectively taking away social rented accommodation and allowing the private rented sector to fill the gap that would ensue, and the rest is history.

It is worth mentioning that some two million homes were taken out of social rented accommodation as a result of this legislation, never to be replaced with a national house building programme.

The consequences of the current legislation to cap benefits have not been thought through and it will be our local authorities that are left to pick up the pieces.

The coalition keeps making the point that it should not be funding (paying benefits) people’s preferred lifestyles, resulting in the bedroom tax being brought in, effectively making people homeless.

Should the coalition government be funding private landlords?

Legislation should have been introduced before the benefit cap, putting a cap on the amount private landlords can charge in rent.

Such a move would not only reduce benefit payments, but would give tenants some security.

Catriona C Clark

Hawthorn Drive